In Which Howard Left Tony One Gift Instead of TwoWhen Tony is five, he learns what it means to be a Stark. He watches Howard drink himself into oblivion and reminds himself not to speak, not to move loudly, not to be intrusive and ask things that aren't his business. But he's a stupid kid, so he sometimes touches something that belongs to Howard and is sent off to Maria to be handled.In Which Howard Left Tony One Gift Instead of Two3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
His mother smears scarlet lipstick across his forehead with a kiss, smooths his hair back, and sets him in her lap, all the bright bangles clinking on her arms and fragrant spray in her hair and sweet 70s roundness in her voice and warm eyes the colour of love.
So he watches Howard and loves Maria, and he learns how to drink and mouth off and swagger and bullshit and laugh too loud and smile too tightly and pretend that nothing hurts (everything does).
When Tony is 21, with a booming company in his arms, grooves like seashells in his circuit boards, and Obie's firm hand a comforting touch on his shoulder, he moves to Malibu and takes his robots with